Randy Pullings Life Was Changed in a Blink of an Eye

Randy Pullings Life Changed Drastically After his Accident

Randy Pullings Life Changed Drastically After his Accident

Editor’s Note: When 37-year-old Randy Pullings of Jacksonville, Florida, almost died in a motorcycle accident, he made a dramatic change from the person he was to the person he is today. He went from being totally focused on living big and making money to being a minister and humanitarian. Here’s the story of his transformation. Part 1 of a 5 part series.

“Growing up, I went to a really nice school, and I had a lot of friends,” says Randy Pullings. “I was on the swim team and played basketball. When I graduated, I planned to go into the military, but my father talked me out of it. Instead, I took a job in a home for developmentally disabled adults run by the Association for the Advancement of Blind and Retarded. I always had a desire to care for people and help improve their lives. When I was in school, I always defended the people being bullied. I fought for those who couldn’t fight for themselves.” When Pullings left that job, he started working for New York City’s Department of Juvenile Justice as a youth officer, taking care of children in the court system who either had committed a crime or couldn’t stay in the homes where they lived and weren’t eligible for foster care. He helped them with their homework, took them to medical visits and court appointments, and made sure they didn’t leave the facility.

Randy Pullings was an industrious young man. In addition to working for the Department of Juvenile Justice, he worked as a stylist in his brother’s clothing store, booked parties and bands, and owned two rental houses and a five-family apartment building. Everything was going good. He was married, had three children and was almost obsessed with creating a good life for his family. But his whole world changed in the blink of an eye.

From the time he was 9-years old, when his older brother, Carl, brought home a Honda Hurricane, Pullings was fascinated by motorcycles. “I loved to hear the roar of the engine,” Pullings explains. “The motorcycle was beautiful, and Carl used to do all kinds of tricks on it. My other brother Orrin and I were amazed at what Carl could do on that motorcycle. We wanted one so bad that our dad gave in and bought us a moped. Then our dad bought Orrin a motorcycle, and I got to ride it, even though it was officially his. When Orrin got another motorcycle, I got to keep his first one.”

“I was organizing a party with a friend of mine, and rode my bike to the venue to make sure everything was ready to go,” Pullings remembers. “I stopped at a stoplight and the next thing I remember, I was laying on the ground in someone’s driveway, and I could hardly breathe. I have no memory of the accident, and I never found out what happened. My motorcycle was still in the street. All indications were that I’d been hit by a car. I remember that I tried to get up and couldn’t, and I was panting to try to catch my breath. My friend kept telling me, ‘Relax, wait for the ambulance to get here.’ When I got to the hospital, no one could figure out what was wrong because the only visible injuries I had were road rash from where I skidded across the asphalt. I was wearing a helmet, and wasn’t bleeding anywhere; I just couldn’t move my legs.”

When Randy was in the hospital, he didn't know how bad his injuries were.

When Randy was in the hospital, he didn’t know how bad his injuries were.

To try and determine the extent of Pullings’ injuries, he was placed in an MRI machine, where he stopped breathing. “When I woke up, I was on a respirator,” Pullings says. “I tried to pull the tube out of my mouth, but the nurses tied me down and put it back in.  I still didn’t know what had happened or why I was in the hospital. When I woke up again, the doctor told me, ‘Mr. Pullings, you’ve been in a bad motorcycle accident, and we don’t know if you’ll live through the night.’ I thought to myself, ‘I just fell, it can’t be that bad. I’m not bleeding, and I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I just fell off my motorcycle!’ My family came in to see me and tried to calm me down, and told me to listen to the doctors and nurses. I couldn’t talk, because of the respirator tube, so they gave me a pen and paper. The nurse made me promise that if she untied me, I wouldn’t pull the respirator out. I started writing, ‘I just fell. I can’t be hurt that bad. I just fell.’”

What really upset Pullings was when the doctors came in with papers for him to sign, that said he would agree to be an organ donor. Using the pen and paper given to him, Pullings wrote, “Why would you want my organs? I’m awake, I’m alive, and I’m not dead yet.” They explained that both his lungs had collapsed, and his liver was leaking into his abdomen. He told them, “If I die, you can have any organs you want, but I’m not giving them away until I’m dead. I won’t sign any papers that will cause you to stop trying to keep me alive.” Pullings says, “Finally my parents and my wife told the doctors to back off, stating that they’d make the decision if and when I was no longer alive. However, the doctors kept pushing and saying, ‘We need this decision now,’ so my family finally said ‘No, he’s not donating his organs, because he believes he’s going to live.’”

Next: Randy Pullings and His Intense Physical Therapy


About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com

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